On this day in 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford drove in the Golden Spike and completed the First Transcontinental Railroad. The 1,907-mile line, built by three railroad companies, cut travel time for a coast-to-coast journey from six months to a week.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Milwaukee, where investor David Dupee is planning to launch the Craft Fund. Once the SEC gives the go-ahead, Dupee will use crowd-funding to provide capital to small breweries.
Not only must Mets fans endure losing baseball, but New York City’s finest are issuing $25 citations to people caught drinking beer in Citi Field’s parking lots.
How does a koozie keep beer cold? It prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the can. Condensation will raise the temperature of your beer in a hurry.
It appears that the British government’s decision to cut the beer tax is helping the country’s pub trade. The JD Wetherspoon’s chain reported that sales increased by six percent in the past quarter.
Brett VanderKamp, the co-founder of west Michigan’s New Holland Brewing Company, has written a book about his craft-brewing experiences. It’s titled Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have cultivated a new type of barley which, thanks to a genetic defect, will keep beer fresher.
Finally, the New York Post found most of 15 bars they visited poured less than 16 ounces in their “pints” of beer. That really hurts, since some NYC bars are charging $8 for a pint these days.
Journalist and beer enthusiast Tom Acitelli has published a new book, The Audacity of Hops, which explores the craft beer revolution. The author, recently interviewed by Cassandra Garrison of Metro magazine, said that he initially approached the craft beer industry as a business story.
Acitelli said that he discovered craft beer had intersected with a number of culinary trends, and with cities’ economies. Asked what sparked the “craft beer revolution,” he pointed to a 1976 law that gave small brewers a break on federal excise tax and, of course, the legalization of homebrewing two years later. Along with that came a shift in public opinion away from homogenized beer and toward locally-sourced products.
Tom Dibblee, of the LA Review of Books, has a confession to make. He enjoys Bud Light Lime because “it allows me to shed the burden of sophistication, and it restores beer to what it once was, when I was young–a tart nectar that makes me happy.”
Dibblee makes his admission as part of his amusing review of Bitter Brew, William Knoedelseder’s account of the rise and fall of Anheuser-Busch. Knoedelseder mentions BLL just once in his book, but the beer is central to Dibble’s review.
August Busch IV was a disaster as CEO, and was shown the door by InBev after it acquired A-B. By February 2010, he was “holed up in his mansion, grievously addicted to drugs, gripped by paranoia, beset by hallucinations, and armed with hundreds of high-powered weapons, including several .50-caliber machine guns.” But before falling into the abyss, August IV suggested that the company branch out into novelty beverages. All but one flopped: Bud Light Lime, which, in 2008, led to Anheuser-Busch’s best summer sales in years.
On this day in 1778, Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is one of only four states that were independent countries before joining the Union. The others are California, Texas, and Vermont, which was a republic between 1777 and 1791.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Denver where, for the third straight year, Governor John Hickenlooper mentioned beer in his State of the State address. Before entering politics, Hickenlooper owned the Wynkoop Brewing Company.
If you’re in the mood to waste some time, check out SuperBowl-Commercials.org (yes, that’s a real site) and start with a few memorable beer commercials, including one featuring Budweiser’s talking frogs.
The Standard Reference Measurement assigns a number between 1 (lightest) and 40 (darkest) to describe the color of beer. Jay Brooks has posted an SRM chart and other color-related links on his Brookston Beer Bulletin.
The “Big D”–Drewrys beer–might be returning to Indiana. Chicago entrepreneur Frank Manzo has acquired the Drewrys name and is lining up capital for his brewing venture.
Sprecher Brewing Company, which is famous for its root beer, is test-marketing an alcoholic version called Hard Root Beer. It has bourbon and oak flavors, and weighs in at 5% ABV.
Some experts worry that cheap beer is a health problem, and that U.S. beer prices are about to drop because of consolidation and vertical integration in the brewing industry.
Finally, congratulations are in order to Fred Bueltmann, a managing partner at New Holland Brewing Company in Michigan. His book, Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy, will be published this spring.
Forty years ago today, Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The crew members for that flight were Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, who would later be elected to the U.S. Senate from New Mexico.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Duluth, Minnesota, where the owners of Fitger’s Brewhouse found a good use for their spent grain. They feed it to a herd of cattle, which will eventually provide steaks for their new brewery-restaurant.
Balance was the watchword at Wine Enthusiast magazine, whose staff selected the top 25 beers of the year. A variety of styles and places of origin are represented on the list.
Last month, two states–Colorado and Washington–voted to legalize marijuana. Which means it’s only a matter of time before someone tries to brew beer containing cannabis.
It’s time to make those Christmas lists, and Billy Broas helps you shop for beer lovers with his top five beer books of 2012.
Jim Galligan, the Today show’s beverage correspondent, wasn’t impressed by Budweiser’s “12 Series” beers. He described A-B’s foray into craft brewing as “as forced, stilted and more than a little bit cringe-inducing.”
If you want to sell your beer at the local ballpark, it’s no longer as simple as striking a deal with the concessionaire. In many parks, you have to become a sponsor, which isn’t just costly but might be non-exclusive as well.
Finally, since Ludwig says it’s now okay to start drinking Christmas ale, John Foyston of the Oregonian recommends some of his favorites, and offers advice about serving them.
On this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. The wall’s demise led not only to the reunification of Germany but also to the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. Feel free to celebrate with a continental Pilsner.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in New Ulm, Minnesota, where a local theater company is putting on The History of Beer, Part I. It’s heavy on audience participation, including traditional German beer-hall songs.
Many beers are aged in bourbon barrels, but New Holland Artisan Spirits has reversed the process. Its Beer Barrel Bourbon is aged in barrels that once held the brewery’s Dragon’s Milk Stout.
Matt Dredge, at Pencil and Spoon, believes that IBUs are not the best indicator of how bitter your beer will taste. Instead, he recommends BU:GUs (Bitterness Units: Gravity Units), a ratio first introduced by author Ray Daniels.
Brewing’s Busch family continues to fascinate authors. William Knoedelseder’s new book, Bitter Brew, was written with the family’s cooperation. Meanwhile, Terry Ganey and Peter Hernon have written an updated version of their 1991 unauthorized biography.
Another reminder that time flies. Samuel Adams Utopia is celebrating its tenth birthday. Only 15,000 bottles of this year’s extreme (29 percent ABV) beer will be produced.
Circle next Thursday on your calendar. Belgophile bars, restaurants, and stores across America will take part in the Coast to Coast Toast. November 15 is the 30th anniversary of Vanberg & DeWulf, the New York-based importer of Belgian beer.
Finally, you missed the ultimate release party. Last Friday evening, bars across Denmark poured free glasses of Julebryg, Tuborg Brewery’s extra-strength Christmas beer.
Today marks the second day of Mexico’s Day of the Dead observance. During the 1990s, this tradition inspired Rogue Ales to brew Dead Guy Ale for Casa U Betcha in Portland, Oregon. The ale, perhaps the best-known of Rogue’s beers, is now available in much of the country.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Virginia, where the Capitol City Brewing Company’s offer of a free pint for an “I Voted” sticker was found to be in violation of state law.
Your family Bible doesn’t mention beer, but according to Dr. James Bowley, a professor of religious studies at Millsaps College, beer culture flourished among the Israelites of Old Testament times.
During his contract negotiations with the Washington Redskins, Chris Cooley asked the club to throw in a case of beer. Cooley didn’t say which brand.
Here comes another brewing industry merger. Cerveceria Costa Rica agreed to buy North American Breweries, which owns the Magic Hat and Pyramid brands and also sells Genesee and Labatt beer in the U.S.
If you have $540,000, and would like to own a brewery, here’s your chance. Dan Humphrey, the owner of the Michigan Beer Cellar, has decided to sell his business. He’s had it with 16-hour days.
Pete Brown’s latest book, Shakespeare’s Local: Six Centuries of History Seen Through One Extraordinary Pub, is now in print. It’s the story of the George Inn, London’s last surviving galleried coaching inn.
Finally, Dr. Michael Lewis, a professor at the University of California, Davis, says that the familiar “shaker pint” is an awful glass for serving fresh beer because it’s wider at the top than at the bottom.
On this day in 1933, the U.S. Justice Department took control of Alcatraz Island, and turned it into a federal prison. Alcatraz held “the worst of the worst,” including Al Capone; Robert Franklin Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz”; and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, who holds the record for time served. And no, Jail Ale wasn’t served there.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Detroit, where the MGM Grand Casino has run afoul of the Liquor Control Commission for offering a “virtual pitcher” that pours a pre-determined amount of beer from a metered beer tap.
Munich wasn’t the only city to celebrate Oktoberfest. Last weekend, the West Bank town of Taybeh had its celebration, which drew Palestinians of all factions along with curious Israelis.
OpposingViews.com website has a round-up stories about changing alcohol regulations. Did you know that homebrewing is still illegal in Alabama and Mississippi?
Florida entrepreneur David Brunson is turning old refrigerators into “Pub Hubs” holding two to four kegs of beer. A Pub Hub will cost you between $790 and $1,100.
An Irish journalist offers a beer travel suggestion: head for southern Bohemia. That region of the Czech Republic has fresh beer, inexpensive and reliable transportation, and no drunken stag partiers.
It’s hop harvest season, and Jason Notte of TheStreet.com has compiled his list of the ten best fresh-hop ales. As you might expect, most of these are brewed in the Pacific Northwest.
Finally, the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide reached a milestone: its 40th edition. To celebrate, Chiltern Brewery made a Ruby Anniversary Ale, a one-off beer that blends ancient and modern ingredients.
Fifty years ago today, Dr. No debuted. The first-ever James Bond film starred Sean Connery in the role of Agent 007, and Ursula Andress as the Bond Girl. The current James Bond is British actor Daniel Craig, who played him in Skyfall, as well as in this Heineken commercial.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which has become a destination for beer travelers. It’s the home of many microbreweries, brewpubs, and bars that specialize in Michigan-brewed beer.
Does your choice of beer reveal your political leanings? A recent study suggests that it does. For instance, Heineken drinkers are Democrats, Samuel Adams drinkers Republicans.
All in a day’s work. Jadrian Klinger of Harrisburg magazine accompanied beer blogger Jeff Kupko on a day of beer tasting. Kupko, who has reviewed some 1,800 beers, explained the finer points of beer appreciation.
In Minneapolis, the Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub used a novel strategy to raise capital: free beer for life for those who invested $1,000. Most of the “members,” as they’re called, live within walking distance.
A new book by Jim Merkel got our attention. Titled “Beer, Brats and Baseball, it tells the story of how Germans shaped St. Louis.
John Steinbeck never ate at a Red Robin restaurant, but he wrote about beer milkshakes, which are now on Red Robin’s menu. They’re mentioned in Chapter 17 of his 1945 novel, Cannery Row.
Finally, “The Most Expensive Beer I Ever Had” award goes to Domagoj Vida, a Croatian soccer player. Vida was fined 100,000 euros ($130,000) after he was caught drinking a beer on the team bus en route to a match.
A hundred years ago today, David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, was born. In 1938 Packard and William Hewlett went into business together. They established their company in a garage, with an initial investment of $538. Today, HP’s market capitalization is more than $33 billion.
And now…The Mash!
We begin in Rochester, New York, where the Genesee Brewery will hold a grand opening ceremony tomorrow for its new brewhouse and pub. There will be a free concert, brewery tours, and tastings.
The latest in Stackpole Books’ Breweries series is Massachusetts Breweries, by John Holl and April Darcy. Gary Dzen of Boston.com reviews the book.
British scientists have found that the shape of your beer glass may determine how fast you drink. Subjects with curved glasses took a third less time to finish their beer than those with straight glasses.
Players on Spain’s national soccer team, which won their second straight European championship this summer, were given their weight in beer by the Cruzcampo brewery, a team sponsor.
Obama’s homebrew honey ale recipes got good reviews overall, but Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer has question for the president: why aren’t you using American-grown hops?
Cold War-era scientists prepared a paper titled “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages.” They concluded that canned beer stood up quite well to a nuclear bomb blast.
Finally, it’s Week 1 of the National Football League season. Evan Benn and Sean Z. Paxton of Esquire magazine suggest a craft beer pairing for all 32 NFL teams. And Ludwig reminds us that the Detroit Lions are still undefeated in regular-season play.